Blab is a new visual social media platform that encourages people to talk to each other, either by actively participating in a video stream with others or watching a live presentation going on and interjecting comments, props (as in “giving props”) or just watching the conversation take place. Yesterday I had my first shot at it.
Of course, I hadn’t planned on even trying it out just yet. I’ve been busy, and my computer wasn’t allowing me access to even watch it for some reason (well, I know the reason, but I’m not divulging it just yet lol). So, when Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips gave me a shout out and asked if I’d meet her in a Google Hangout, I wasn’t really thinking about Blab at all; after all, it was a Sunday afternoon.
So when we connected, she said she wanted to do a test run with me and it had to be on Chrome, since it’s optimized for them. That meant I had to sign into Twitter there (I use Firefox almost exclusively), because you have to first have a Twitter account before you can be on Blab. She walked me through the process of getting signed into Blab, shut down the Hangout, sent me a link to the Blab window and off we went.
Like probably anyone who’s been on a Google Hangout, you want to figure out what the differences are. In this case, the connection was quicker, and, unlike a Hangout, if you want to talk to up to 4 people at once all of you have your own squares so you can see and hear each other, unlike a Hangout where you mainly see the person talking while everyone else’s images are below. Since initially it was just Ileane and myself, we had the two two squares. Because she was also the creator, she closed all the other boxes so no one could come in or request to come in since she wanted me to see it and get comfortable first.
I’m not going to get into all the odds and ends of how the thing works, especially since Ileane did a video tutorial on it, which I’m showing below:
Ileane is also offering this explanation guide if you want more information on how to do things there.
Here’s my thoughts on it all. I have to admit it’s pretty cool to use. When you start a program, it sends out a message to all the people you’re connected to there to let them know you’re doing one. The chat message box is already on the side and has a column specifically for questions where, if people put “/q”, then a space and then their question, it pops up in that column so you know where they are to answer them. You also get to select the correct camera and mike if you have more than one, which I got to see when she invited this one guy in and Blab picked up the wrong items for him; very smooth indeed.
Oh yeah; you can record them if you want, and a neat feature is that you can pause it and start again, and it’ll pick up from there. That way, if you’re doing a solo project and you want to pause for any reason and start again, it’s like editing yourself a bit; that’s pretty cool. I don’t know where the videos go so you can load them up to YouTube, but I’m sure I’ll find out easily enough.
So, now I guess I’m on Blab, connected to 3 people. I’m still going to do Hangouts as well because not everyone wants to sign up for a Twitter account, but it seems easier to get them to sign up on Google Plus; no idea why that’s true. Still, for the interactivity, I have to admit that it works pretty well, and I will definitely be using it. Here’s the link to my Blab account, in case you want to check me out one day when I’m there. 🙂